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Dutch Muslim Mayor Gives Refugees Hope

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Coming to Netherlands as a refugee himself, Rotterdam’s first Muslim mayor is offering asylum-seekers shelter and hope, as the refugees influx continues to spark tensions in other parts of Europe. “I don’t have a recipe. I have my own experiences, and I have my policy in my city,” Ahmed Aboutaleb, mayor of Rotterdam since 2009, said. Born in Beni Sidel in Morocco in 1961, Aboutaleb moved to the Netherlands at the age of 15. Aboutaleb first took the helm of Europe’s largest port in January 2009, a sea-change in a city which once led a national anti-immigrant drive. With the increasing influx of refugees into Europe, the Netherlands is expected to host up to 60,000 refugees by the end of the year as an estimated 3,000 people arrive every week. “I have experienced what it is to go to bed without food,walking without shoes, I know how that feels. Living outside and it’s cold and you didn’t have a proper coat, I know how that is,” he said. (Extracted from www.onislam.net/english/news)